Color Theory 101: Building A Colour Palette for Your Brand

January 13, 2020

Jazmine Kongmuang


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Ladies, let’s do a raise of hands for those of you who have attempted to create a colour palette before, or wanted to try but didn’t know where to start!

*cue every single one of us raising a hand*

I, personally, find planning a colour palette way more fun and intriguing than anyone probably should, which is why I find it a little difficult. I just see so many options, so many tones, so many different pairings and varieties… I’d love to know what it is you find that you struggle with when creating a colour palette. Or, have you claimed colour palette royalty and find it a total breeze? Let us know in the comments section below.

Over in the Rebel Office Resource Library, Sarah has given us a tonne of colour palette goodness to help us create the perfect one for our brands! You will find out all you need to know about Designing Your Vibe in our Building Community section within the ever-expanding Resources folder.

In this article, I’ll be going over all the basics you need to know to get confident in creating a colour palette, so you can create and complete your first one today!

I think one of the most important things you need to know to get started is: you do not have to be a certified designer to create a colour palette. And you most definitely don’t need to be paying someone top dollar to create one, when you can quickly and enjoyably create your own, basically for free.


Now, let’s dive in!


The Effects of Colour

Like most things, the emotions and experiences related to colour can differentiate vastly for different people.

Below are some examples of how colours are generally experienced:

Cool colours such as blues, greens and purples are often seen as more subdued than warm colours. Cool colours can be representative of night, water, fauna and are related to feelings of calmness.

Warm colours such as reds, yellows, oranges often represent passion, enthusiasm and positivity. In nature, warm colours symbolize change, autumn leaves, sunset and sunrise.

It is super important to keep your target audience in mind when choosing the colours that represent your brand, as culturally colours can be representative of things such as mourning, religion, and politics, which you may not be what you want your brand to be related to.


Keep It Cohesive

Most colour palettes are a combination of 2 sections, primary colours, and secondary colours.

Primary colours are the colours you will use most often to represent your brand.

Secondary colours will be used less frequently but will remain consistent throughout your brand.

The pros recommend using a combination of 5 colours to create your palette, but it is totally up to you to decide how many colours you need, to express your envisioned design.

It is common for brands to have less than 5 colours, which means they have less to worry about when creating branded materials. But can you truly express how your brand feels to your potential clients using less than 5 colours?


Resources Library


Get to Know Your Codes

If you’re not familiar with codes, the idea of ‘getting to know your codes’ might freak you out a little. I have friends that work in doing coding, and I hear a lot of horror stories, I think because of that I’ve built up this trigger of freaking out whenever codes are mentioned.

The good news is, colour codes are so simple. You don’t have to memorize them for life, you don’t need to know every single colour code, all you need is a tool that identifies the colour you want to use, and saves it in your style guide for later use!

In Designing Your Vibe, Sarah lets us know that there are 3 colour codes that we need to be paying attention to.

  1. Hex Code: most commonly used for web-based applications, it is a 6-digit colour code and the most versatile for an online business.
  2. RGB Code: common for web-based applications, most often found where Hex codes are not an option.
  3. CMYK Code: used specifically for printing; comes in the form of four codes, representing the percentage of each colour used.


Check your Moodboard

If you haven’t got any ideas of what colours you’re going to use to represent your brand just yet, don’t stress!

If you have a mood board, girl, you should, you have most likely already gathered some colours on there that you haven’t consciously acknowledged yet.

Go on over and have a look.

Do the colours within your mood board stand out to you? How do they make you feel? Is that how you’d like your brand to feel to people who come across it?


Check out Canva 

Canva has several templates for everything, mood boards and colour palettes included! Every single one of my clients and I use Canva to create the graphics we use day-to-day to represent and advertise our businesses.

I have personally created my own colour palettes using a Canva template so that I can see them all working together in one place.

Let us all know how it went once you start implementing all these secrets. 😉

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  1. Crystal says:

    This is fascinating. I love learning about color. I can’t wait to start working on my colors!

  2. Helen says:

    Wow this is way cool and informative. Never thought of building a color palette for my brand I definitely thinking on it now. I usually use the same couple of filters on my Instagram may I ask for my other accounts not so much. Thank you so much for the great info!

  3. Corinne says:

    Hi Jazmine, these are great tips for having a cohesive brand and image by using colour. I do have a colour palette for my blog, I’m just not good at design lol. It’s a work in progress but I really appreciate this post.


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